Japanese fighter Yushin Okami will return to his home soil to face Tim Boetsch when the UFC returns to Japan on Feb. 26 at the Saitama Super Arena.
“Undefeated since dropping down to middleweight, Tim ‘The Barbarian’ Boetsch has verbally agreed to face top-three ranked Yushin ‘Thunder’ Okami,” said UFC president Dana White on Tuesday.
Okami (26-6) hasn’t fought since losing via a second-round TKO stoppage at the hands of middleweight kingpin Anderson Silva at UFC 134 in Brazil. Okami is 10-3 since emerging in the Octagon at UFC 62. Trying to get back on track, he’ll face a stern test in Boetsch.
The Canadian fighter, as White said, has won both of his bouts since dropping to middleweight, defeating Kendall Grove and Nick Ring. He’s a strong wrestler, that could provide some fits for Okami if he’s able to take the top-ranked Japanese fighter to the mat.
UFC 144 features lightweight champion Frankie Edgar defending his belt against Benson Henderson on Feb. 26 at Saitama Super Arena in Saitama, Japan.